I have some experience with malaria. I grew up in a country where it’s still a major concern,1 and I’ve had seven bouts of it over my lifetime. It’s not a terribly frightening disease unless you either don’t get treatment or are unlucky enough to contract a strain that is resistant to medications like Chloroquine or Quinine, which has unfortunately become more common over the years. When I tell people I’ve had it many times they tend to look at me like I survived cancer or walked out of a burning building unscathed. While it’s certainly not an illness I’d wish on anyone, it is not terrible provided you get treatment.
Treatment and prevention is the key, and unfortunately due to the relative ease with which it spreads in areas dense with mosquitoes, it still kills many many people worldwide. One of the reasons the Gates Foundation has focused on malaria is that by the numbers, it’s still one of the most widespread and impactful diseases worldwide.
One thing many people don’t realize is that in areas where preventable or treatable diseases are prevalent along with poverty, economic hardship, and lack of education, the market is rife with opportunities for scammers. From Wikipedia:
The WHO said that studies indicate that up to 40% of artesunate based malaria medications are counterfeit, especially in the Greater Mekong region and have established a rapid alert system to enable information about counterfeit drugs to be rapidly reported to the relevant authorities in participating countries.
Anyway, all of this is just prologue to my real point, which is that you should consider supporting Malarious. There are many causes to contribute to in the world, but malaria prevention and treatment is one of the most important in my book.
- In fact, it is the number one cause of illness and death in PNG, at least as of 2003. [return]
- Sadly, as AIDS is rapidly becoming more of a problem in PNG, my parents and sister report that the number of scammers selling fake ‘home-brew’ medications has taken a sharp upturn, undermining legitimate education and distribution of actual cheap preventative measures like condoms. Makes my blood boil to say the least… [return]